Flexjet is now offering direct luxury helicopter service from Florida to The Bahamas ahead of the 2023 private aviation peak travel season. It was a logical extension of the company's year-round helicopter service in the Sunshine State.
Flexjet launched its helicopter division in 2022 with a fleet of Sikorsky S-76s, one of the most respected production helicopters with a heritage of more than 40 years and seven and a half million hours of safe flight. Formed to complement private jet owners with first and last mile transport, the fleet of S-76s is also available for on demand charter in the US Northeast, Florida and the UK.
"As people move their residences to Florida for the season, demand for our Florida helicopter service will increase, including travel from Florida to The Bahamas. With our authorisation in place, those trips to The Bahamas can happen in privacy, luxury and on their schedule," says Eli Flint, president of Flexjet's helicopter division. "We have already identified tailored landing zones in areas important to our customers."
Flexjet was authorised by the Bahamian Government to fly to the Bahamas after conducting proving runs in August, well ahead of the winter peak travel season which begins around Thanksgiving.
The utility of helicopters enables direct travel to many of The Bahamas' islands and cays. The proven Sikorsky S-76 platform is ideal for over-water flights, with twin engine, high cruise speed, long-range capability. This nimble and substantial aircraft gets passengers much closer, and in some cases exactly, to their remote destination. Flexjet's Sikorsky S-76 can fly from Miami, Florida to the Bimini islands of the Bahamas in approximately 25 minutes or from Palm Beach, Florida to Baker's Bay, home to an exclusive Bahamian members-only residential community, in about one hour 20 minutes.
While other providers may offer access to helicopters via arrangements with third-party operators, Flexjet's owned and operated super-midsize helicopter fleet mirrors an all-encompassing approach to safety and the refined Red Label by Flexjet cabin experience for which the company's jet aircraft are renowned.
Furthermore, Flexjet private helicopters feature multiple redundancy safety measures. They are always flown by two highly experienced, certified pilots who conduct a thorough checklist of safety measures. Pilots and Flexjet's expert operations team utilise Baldwin safety management systems, weather monitoring, preflight risk assessment programmes, hazard-reporting systems and customised landing zone surveys. The design features and operation of this helicopter include multiple safety redundancies including dual autopilot systems, two engines, four-blade main rotor system and emergency flotation gear built into the aircraft.
Flint adds: "Now that our clientele has grown accustomed to accessing off-airport destinations, they expect it wherever the helicopter can take them, and now that includes from Florida to the Bahamas and Florida Keys."